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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Switching Things Up...

I am all for routines, they help you to keep organized and allow for efficiency in getting work done.  These are both things that are pretty much part of my core.  My lesson this week was in embracing the freedom in doing different things that aren't part of the plan...for the afternoon, day, or week.  Work was crazy busy, but to be expected.  What I had not expected was that I would not get to they gym all week.  Not part of my normal routine, but on Thursday I had an idea.  I left work after 8 hours (see...already something different) and met my sister at the Mall for some random, meaningless shopping.  That is the fun thing about doing things that are seemingly random and meaningless, they still lead you to where you need to be.
I am a diehard Nike girl...the only running shoes I have ever worn have been Nike...my entire life for the most part.  Most of my gym attire is Nike...but I have been slowly embracing the power of Under Armour.  It started with a few gym outfits and then it happened.  On Thursday, I tried on a pair of running shoes and it felt like kismet.  I tried on two different pairs and then settled for bliss.  I was so excited about my new venture that I decided to continue on the path of unexpected and went to the gym the next morning.  I was excited to try out my new shoes and do some strength training before heading to work.  It felt great, but I knew I was not done for the day.  I also wanted to go back after work and do a six mile walk.  I made it back to see gym, but only did 5 miles.  I had to work later than expected and it was getting late...and I felt bad about delaying dinner plans even later. 

The walk was the true test of the sneakers...and they passed.  No shin splints.  I didn't even need my standard heel gels.  They were so light and allowed for complete unrestricted movement.  I'm glad I took a chance and did something out of the norm.  I have new shoes which will carry me through the completion of my first year back to the gym.  A full year!! 

PS - -  I know right?? Aren't they the cutest??

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Do Work...

I really did think that I was going to snooze most of the day...I feel like I might be catching a cold...and since I have a busy work week coming up...I figured I would just rest up.  Silly, silly me.  My busy work week has started already with needing to do a few things today and perhaps this evening too, but it was to be expected.  The few things I can get done make for a few less things I have to worry about tomorrow.  What I hadn't expected was all of the other things that I was going to get done today as well.  My lazy butt day ended up being pretty productive.  And...I feel ready to take on the coming week.  I can do this!!

List of things I accomplished this weekend (I mean why not throw in a few things from yesterday too??)

*  Sat - Stopped by Starbucks and was able to give a hug to one of my camp friends who was having a tough day.  I was then met with a swirling dragonfly as I got back in my car...another camp boost.

*  Sat - Met with my trainer and worked out all of the kinks in my current strength training routine.

*  Sat - Finished a work writing assignment while hanging out with some of my writing friends at Panera.

*  Sat - Wrote a blog about Camp.

*  Sat - Watched the Philly Union beat the Montreal Impact...great game!!!  I watched some of the Whitecaps versus Toronto FC game.  I conked out and missed the exciting MLS action of LA Galaxy vs. Portland.  I also missed the FC Dallas win over the Colorado Rapids...so excited for the boys on this one.  Given my early start tomorrow...I probably won't get to see my DC United boys do work tonight...very bummed about this. ;(  I love soccer...it motivates me to work harder.

*  Sun - Did some office work...got the ball rolling on a few things for tomorrow.

*  Sun - Decided to go back to sleep for a bit and then started catching up on my blog reading.  After reading about the tremendous progress my friend is making after her back surgery last week...I decided to hit the gym!!  I usually go late in the day on Sundays through Thursdays...but knowing that I would probably have to do some work in the evening...I decided I would just skip.  Nope...no skip day for me.

*  Sun - Went to the gym and ended up burning over 800 calories with an hour of fun on the elliptical machine.  That felt really good and always clears my mind.

*  Sun - Did three weeks worth of laundry and everything has been folded and put away too!!

*  Sun - Took an hour nap.

*  Sun - Watched a bit more soccer...Red Bulls versus Timbers.

*  Sun - Did a bit more work...as anticipated...and maybe some more.

*  Sun - Go to bed early...well...I guess we will have to wait and see on that one!!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

That Camp State of Mind...

I am in complete countdown mode for Camp Fantastic...it is the 30th Anniversary year...and I feel so lucky to be able to be a part of it.  It is getting close enough that I am starting to dream about it.  Thinking about it causes a giddy grin and goosebumps...it is that special.  It is an unexplainable special that you can only experience first-hand to really know.  I don't know that I would have imagined 11 years ago that I was going to form bonds that would last so long...in some cases...everlasting.  It is in that moment, where you know that you are in the right place at the right time, where your life changes forever.  Mine did.  The first year I volunteered at camp in 2002...

My life is full of these moments over the past 11 years that I carry with me always.  The first time I met Joel on the bus on the way back from Farm Day.  That all night conversation that Amy and I had with Chass.  Watching Christy read an essay at the talent show and blowing everyone away with her words.  Hanging out with Laura all week while shooting a video about camp.  Listening to Carolyn read a poem about remembering Alex.  At campfire when Daniel claimed honors and thanked me for taking care of him during the week.  When Katie wore a dress to the dance...a little black one at that.  The first I met Becca Parcells and her family at their first ever Special Love event, it was a Spring Family Weekend.  Becca was six.  Now she is sixteen...and looking fabulous in her purple butterfly hoodie don't you think?  This is a picture of us from Reunion Weekend in June.

As an incredibly shy person with very few true friends, I instantly gained
an incredible network of friends who are always there for me...in camp life or regular life.  For an introvert who had never been to camp before, I learned that there is a place for everyone .  As a team, a group of volunteers (each person with their own individual gifts) work together to create an amazing experience for campers who get a whole week to be a kiddo with the focus on fun and not on cancer.  It is a beautiful, beautiful thing.  Life changing.  It is life changing for everyone.  When butterflies or dragonflies swirl around me, I can see Chass smiling to me.  When a Cake song plays, Joel is saying Hi. 

As I sorted through way too many unfilled Vera Bradley notebooks, I put a lot of thought into selecting just the right one for this year.  I start a new notebook every year to house all of my planning, all of my lists, and all of my ideas for the following year.  I decided to use Purple Punch because it reminds me of the person who is like my big sister.  She will be moving away...not long after I return from camp in August.  She is strong, brave, and fantastic...just like my camp friends.  And just as I have learned at camp, friendship is everlasting.  No matter where you are, the people who care about you are always there for you.  No matter what.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Just Do It...

So...I did it.  Tonight I got past my fears and finally did my new strength training workout on my own.  I'm not really sure what my hang-up was, but I was very nervous.  I had that icky tummy ache you get before a test in school, a doctor's appointment, or a meeting at work.  I had been putting it off for well over two weeks.  The lack of power and then being out of town helped me to put it off even longer...it added another week for sure.  It was truly a game day decision...as I pulled into the parking lot...I still wasn't sure if I was going to do it or not.  I know part of my hang-up is always being worried that I look like a complete dunce when I do strength training.  I know it is silly.  No one is even watching...but it definitely stands in my way sometimes.
To help me not think so much, I decided to do something I haven't ever done before, I listened to my iPod.  It really helped, especially in terms focusing.  I felt really good to just push my fears aside and do it.  I did work.  It felt so good.  I love how strength training makes me feel.  I guess there is a reason that I have always been a Nike Girl.  Like with anything, you have to just do it.

I am about two months away from my one-year mark at being back with my boy gym...I had been thinking about all kinds of neat rewards for myself.  Originally it was buying my own personal locker at the gym, but the truth is.  I don't really need one.  My lucky locker #103 is always there for me when I get to the gym...so I am good.  I also thought about buying myself a pair of Tory Burch flats.  This is still in my head, but really, do I need another pair of flats?  And then...I discovered something while hunting around the Nike website tonight...you can design your own pair of Nike Shox!! So, I think you can guess what I will be doing for my one year Gymversary...I am already dreaming up the color scheme!! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

In the Waiting...

I'm just going to come right out and say it...it would be impossible to find a container big enough to hold all of my joy at the moment.  It is like Christmas Eve.  I have been waiting for several months for this day to arrive.  I have planned my outfit.  I found the perfect shoes.  I picked out a color coordinated Vera Bradley purse.  It has all been leading up to tonight.  Coldplay.  Next to camp, this may be the biggest moment of the summer for me.  There is nothing I love more than going to a show.  Live music is one of the most wonderful sources of fuel for me.  I sing.  I dance.  I don't care who listens or sees.  I go apeshit crazy when the band hits the stage.  I do it because I can.  There is a moment during every show where I feel connected...to something much larger than the usual space I occupy.  I know that all those out and about in the universe who guide me are gathered with me...dancing and singing.  Because we can...

In honor of my Mom's 60th year, I decided that the perfect gift for her would be to see Coldplay live.  She hasn't seen them live before.  After the last time I saw them play in 2009, I had her listen to some CDs and she fell in love with them.  This will be the fourth time I have seen them play...and it is always amazing.  I can't wait for the experience that is just hours away.  I have been waiting since December when I got the tickets.  She has been waiting since February when I gave her the tickets for her birthday.  I can't help but think that the most amazing part is in the waiting...when the lights go down just before they take the stage.  There is endless possibility in those moments and then everything else is in the after...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A brand new view...

There is something powerful about letting go of the familiar and opening up to something new.  I knew when I decided to get new glasses back in December 2011 that I was ready to change things up.  I had no idea what sort of changes would be on the way when I gave away my red glasses.  Life became more complicated and significantly harder...I was balancing my job and my family...looking back...I was crisis mode.  I was looking through new lenses only to see the last days of my Grandma while trying not to miss a beat at work.  I saw food...lots of food...that was my comfort and my calm.  Well, food and endless conversations with my Mom and Sister. 

The views of readjusting to a life without care taking responsibilities was harder than one would think.  From mid-March until August 2011, I had no idea how to fill to the time...so there was food...more food...and work.  There is always work.  There is a picture of me on the beach that is seared into my memory from an early August vacation...it was me but it wasn't me.  It wasn't the me that I wanted to be.  I was hiding, completely invisible.

By early September after the winds of a hurricane swept through and cleared my mind, I was ready to start filling my time differently.  I was going to get my calm in new ways...going to the gym, watching soccer, having fun, and eating less.  And work...of course...there is always work.  I fell into a new routine...my sanity time with gym after work.  Watching soccer games on Friday nights and the occasional Tuesday or Thursday...it was motivation to work hard physically, not just mentally.  There were things I had to do outside of my job...I had plans.  Suddenly I didn't feel so invisible and was getting back to me. 

By November, once my routine was set in terms of clocking time with gym, I was ready for another change.  While my new specs had seen me through the hardest of days and the beginning of a transformation, I no longer wanted to hide behind them.  The hour and half at the eye doctor's office while I struggled to put contacts in my eyes for the first time was a landmark in all that was still to come.  In the past, when something didn't come naturally to me, I would just quit.  I would stop and just move on to something else.

This time, it was different, I was going to push through.  I was going to put tiny new lenses in my eyes.  I was going to step up my workouts at the gym.  I was not going to eat bad things to feel better.  I was not going to give up on something just because it was hard.  It was a whole new everything with no limitations or blinders or spectacles in my way.  A new brand new view...